It’s been a long time coming but it seems like virtual reality is definitely here – and it’s here to stay.
After many false dawns that have seen it fail to materialise, now it is being used for more and more applications – in teaching, in medicine, in architecture and, most relevantly for this article, in video games.
A lot of its appearance in practical form has to do with the tech to enjoy VR games now becoming available and affordable. So there has been good reason for game developers to put some real effort into creating games to play on them.
And it’s not just developers of traditional computer games. Surely it won’t be very long until we see online casino sites taking the leap in to the world of VR to bring us games like roulette, blackjack and poker online in a more realistic and involving way than ever before.
But, until they do, here are five great games out now for you to enjoy the VR experience.
Best Shooter – Superhot VR
Superhot VR has been around in some form or another for about a decade now. In this time it’s been gradually refined and improved to become the amazing game that it is today.
Yes, it’s a fairly standard shooter where’re you’re the target as well as the assassin. But the big twist is that this a game where you can make time stand still. This gives you a chance to pause the action, weigh up your options – and come out firing. The fact that you’re enveloped in a VR world at the same time makes for a truly captivating and involving experience.
Best Open World game – No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky may be a space exploration game that had a very shaky take-off. But the subsequent updates have raised to the level of being one of the very best.
VR technology means that as you explore different planets and environments you can imagine you are actually walking on alien soil. Once there, it’s your job to establish sustainable communities, often with the help of alien lifeforms themselves. To do this you’ll need to hunt, build and nurture while also dealing with different conditions around you. And you’ll also need to watch out for the Sentinels who are your sworn enemies dedicated to ensuring that your tasks can never be completed.
Best Superhero game – Marvel’s Iron Man VR
Here’s your chance to immerse yourself in the Marvel universe as well as to experience flying in the iconic Iron Man suit.
While the focus is very much on giving you the Tony Stirk identity as well as his alter-ego, there is also a narrative storyline to follow. In the game your enemy is the nefarious hacker and arch-villain Ghost who’s certainly going to take some defeating.
Along the way you can expect to be joined by a number of the fellow Avengers. But as to whether good will eventually triumph over evil, that’s going to be down to you and whether you can justify your superhero status.
Best Rhythm game – Thumper
Most of us have played some kind of rhythm game before – one where you need to play to the beat of the music. But, as the name suggests, Thumper takes things to fairly brutal extremes.
There’s a hint of Frans Kafka to the game as you are transformed into a beetle. To survive the game’s onslaught, you need to hit the pads on the track in front of you by quickly changing lanes and avoiding hazards.
There are several level to negotiate. But newcomers to the game usually find that the action’s been so intense that they need to take a time out or two in the process.
Best Simulator – Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition
In the real-world VR technology is now being used to put pilots through their paces. While this game may not be as complex as that, it certainly gives you a realistic feeling of what it may be like to be at the controls.
There are a number of different planes to fly and many different airports from all round the where you can take off and land. If this all sounds a little too stressful, you can even switch on the autopilot, sit back and enjoy the ride looking down on the infinitely varied landscapes below.
So line yourself up some mini packets of peanuts, strap yourself in and prepare for take off.
Of course, with more and more games being released all the time, our top five list may not last for long. But until the next generation of super-immersive VR games does come along then these are the best of the best for the moment. Enjoy!